4 takeaways from the Dolphins’ Week 10 victory over the Ravens

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The Miami Dolphins are now 3-7 after surprisingly upsetting one of the better teams in the league in the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 22-10.

Miami was dominant defensively, holding Baltimore to one of their worst games of the season in terms of points and yards. They were sending pressure at Lamar Jackson all night that really kept him from extending plays or getting enough time to go through all of his reads.

Offensively, the Dolphins still weren’t able to do much. However, they were able to survive and put up points when it mattered to keep the Ravens from taking the lead.

Here are four things we learned from this win over Baltimore.

The defense should have been playing this way all along.

This Dolphins’ defense has played very well the last three weeks. They’ve given up just 15 points per game in their last three (tied for sixth-fewest), and it all started with the game against Buffalo.

After the game, cornerback Xavien Howard mentioned that the defense went back to some schemes and coverages that they were using in 2020. Miami’s defense in 2020 was one of the better groups in the league.

Against the Bills, the defense let up a bit in the second half, and their performance against Houston wasn’t that impressive because it was Houston. However, this game should tell us that they have this ability against any team, and they should be one of the better units going forward.

Jevon Holland has a ton of potential.

Holland was everywhere on Thursday. He was laying big hits on Devin Duvernay on a run. He was breaking up pass attempts against Marquise Brown. And, where he was used most was in the pass rush.

His 21 blitzes were the most for a defensive back since at least 2016.

The rookie’s performance was graded an 83.7 by Pro Football Focus, which bounced him up to ninth at the safety position on the year. Remember, that this guy has been in the league for 10 weeks. If this growth continues, the sky is the limit for Holland.

Tua Tagovailoa should have started the whole game.

Brian Flores decided that Tagovailoa’s injury to the middle finger on his throwing hand was limiting him too much pregame to let him start. Jacoby Brissett got that opportunity for the second game in a row.

However, Tagovailoa was still available as the backup and was called in when Brissett went down with a knee injury. The quarterback came in and looked pretty normal. He completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 158 yards and scored on a sneak to make it a two-score game.

If Tagovailoa was healthy enough to backup and potentially go in, he should have been starting. That’s especially the case when he was making all of the throws they usually ask him to make.

Teams are starting to respect Mike Gesicki.

The Dolphins’ offense has been predicated on passes to rookie wideout Jaylen Waddle and tight end Mike Gesicki throughout 2021. In this game, however, Gesicki was held without a reception despite being targeted seven times.

This can be explained by some of the matchups that the Ravens were using on him. There were numerous times when Baltimore’s top cornerback, Marlon Humphrey, was tasked with taking Gesicki out of the play.

When a team’s best defender is assigned to a tight end that shows a massive sign of respect. That’s how teams are starting to view Miami’s tight end, so the Dolphins will have to find more options to throw to.

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